State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, who has announced plans to challenge the reelection of Beth Harwell as House speaker, will not be attending next week’s special session, according to an email reported by The Tennessean.
“When I announced my run for Speaker, I began taking steps to transition the day-to-day operations of my business to my family,” said Matlock, who runs a tire business which has four East Tennessee locations. “The business trip I will be attending next week has been planned for some time and is one of the final steps in this transition process.”
Last month, Matlock announced his plans to challenge Harwell for the chamber’s top leadership spot, saying his primary goal is to unite the Republican caucus and support each member.
“My priority is being able to lead the House with my full devotion and come November I will be ready to do just that,” Matlock concluded in his email.
A crowd of about 700 attended Mike Huckabee’s Knoxville speech at a $75 per person fundraiser for pro-life causes, reports Georgina Vines. The event was held by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and the Palm Christian Ministry.
State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, was among those attending and predicted Huckabee, who won Tennessee in the 2008 Republican presidential primary, will run again in 2012.
“He plays strong in the South. He will do well in Tennessee again. I expect him to jump into this thing again because there is no front-runner. Most people like his demeanor, whether they go along with his philosophy or not. He’s not hateful or ugly,” Matlock said.
Huckabee takes time to talk with people, looking them straight in the eye. He doesn’t try to hurry anyone along so he can meet the next person in line. Many on Monday carried copies of his latest book, “A Simple Government,” for him to sign. The book was sold during the event.
Some 40 pro-choice demonstrators appeared at the Convention Center after Huckabee entered. Armstrong said while Huckabee didn’t see that, he learned about them later.